Regretting that time I posted to Doritos’ Facebook page

By Guest Author AJ Schock, adrianne.schock found on

I am certain that everyone has posted something online that they regret. Statistics have shown that 11-46% of adolescents have reported experiencing online regret after sharing content on the Internet.

In the article about online regret, Dhir et al. focused on two main research topics. First, they examined the relationship between Social Networking Sites’ (SNS) brand participation, technology accessibility, and the regret experience and problematic use of Facebook. The second involved the relative influence of SNS’ brand participation, technology accessibility, and the problematic use of Facebook in predicting regrettable online experiences.

In four different cities in Northern India, 804 adolescent (aged 13 to 14 years old) Facebook users were given a pencil-and-paper survey in class on four separate concepts:

  1. Online regret: Did the student feel sad after spending an immense amount of time on Facebook? Was their schoolwork affected by their time spent on Facebook? The students’ answers were measured on a 5-point scale with ‘1’ being strongly disagree and ‘5’ being strongly agree
  2. SNS brand participation: Did the student feel that by participating in discussions on Facebook, brand pages gave them a sense of belonging to said brands? The students’ answers were measured on a 5-point scale with ‘1’ being strongly disagree and ‘5’ being strongly agree.
  3. Technology accessibility: Students reported how they accessed Facebook by answering whether or not they owned a cell phone, had a mobile Internet connection and an Internet connection at home. This measure also dealt with the frequency and excessive use of Facebook.
  4. Problematic Facebook use: Students reported their self-reflections of their own problematic Facebook use, their teachers, parents, and friends’ thoughts about the student’s problematic Facebook use, and conflicts with their parents and friends due to their problematic Facebook use. The students’ answers were measured as unproblematic, low problem level, medium problem level, and high problem level.

Dhir and colleagues found that students with and without home and mobile Internet had the same amount of regrettable online experiences while students with cell phones experienced higher online regret than those without. They determined adolescent brand participation results in online regret. The authors suggested that a possible reason for this is that adolescents are currently captivated with popular brands.  An internal need exists for adolescents to connect with these brands by following the brands on Facebook or participating in a discussion on these pages.

Why would research on brands and regrettable online experiences be important? Branded pages on Facebook face two major problems: retaining existing members and initiating the active participation of community members. Regrettable online experiences lead to brand switching and the termination of services. Managers and administrators of these branded pages should explore different ideas to provide their community members with ways to actively participate without experiencing online regret. Active participation would lead to better ways to retrieve feedback and opinions from users while minimizing the regrettable experience.

Dhir, A., Kaur, P., Chen, S., & Lonka, K. (2016). Understanding online regret experience in Facebook use – Effects of brand participation, accessibility & problematic use. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 420-430. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.040

Some Evidence that Blogging is Beneficial

By Guest Author Eduard Nagornyy, found at @eduardNagornyy and .

A t-shirt promotes bloggingMillions of people blog. Some blog just to vent and others do it to manage their distress (an emotional release). What many might not know is that blogging, for the majority of users, is therapeutic, socially supportive.

Initial research was done on the psychosocial (the relationship between individual thought and behavior, and certain social factors) benefits of blogging. Many bloggers blogged the initial research and created discussions about it.

Baker and Moore compared the responses in these discussions to the results of the initial research on social connectedness, satisfaction with friendship, and psychological distress; essentially they sought to determine if the blogging community agreed or disagreed with the initial research. They took three weeks to complete where searches were done on specific blog search engines (e.g. Google Blog Search), and they looked for any reference to the initial research. 167 sources found (English-written blogs) generated nearly 500 comments. The comments were then categorized under individual users (289 unique user comments) that commented on the initial research. The majority of the results agreed with the initial research, with 55% whole-heartedly supporting the results, 25% accepting the results, 11% feeling neutral towards the results, 6% opposing the results, and 3% that were unfriendly (comments that were angrily vented with foul language).

This research indicates that blogging can be beneficial. 80% of the users here claim to have a positive experience while blogging. Some of the benefits include increased self-esteem and self-worth, less stress after participating, emotional release, higher trust in others, inter-mixing socially, and friendship fulfillment. The overall well-being of a person who blogs might be higher quality because of recognized social support than that of a person who does not blog.

So, for those people who are under a lot of stress, make a blog and vent. Join the millions of other users who do the very same thing and release yourself emotionally. It might be surprising how therapeutic blogging can be and the social support behind it. On a side-note, this second-wave of research was done using dialogue, meaning that the authors used the responses to the research as evidence. This type of procedure is not widely used but the authors claim it should be used more often, especially since technology is allowing the participation of users with the research and results. The procedure provides the researchers and their methods more transparency.

Baker, J. R., & Moore, S. M. (2011). An Opportunistic Validation of Studies on the Psychosocial Benefits of Blogging. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(6), 387-390.

Implications of improper email format in an academic community

By Guest Author Kelly Roby

I see parallels in the social consequences of improper email etiquette in academia and business. I believe that the parallels of increased use of technology and lack of focus on proper communication have grown at a rapid rate.

Stephens et al., conducted two studies using Interaction Adaption Theory (IAT) to examine improper or casual out-of-classroom emails and the impact these had on the student, student credibility, message attitude and overall willingness of a professor to comply with simple requests for a face-to-face meeting. IAT helps explain how individuals choose to respond to communication in either a matching or complementary manner. To accurately predict a response to interaction IAT uses three conditions:

  • Requirements (R)-what the receiver feels is necessary in an interaction
  • Expectations (E)-anything anticipated in the interaction and typically considered social norms or prescriptions
  • Desires (D)-what one hopes or prefers to occur in the interaction

R, E, and D form to make the interaction position (IP). When this position is compared to actual behavior (A), a positive or negative reaction occurs.

Study one utilized 152 instructors ranging from full-time tenured professors to adjunct faculty, with an average age of 38.0 years. It attempted to identify the affect on instructor opinion towards the student by manipulating message quality and familiarity.

Study two involved a more-pinpointed effort to expound on the results of study one. The intent was to identify whether generational differences had influence on student email content, why students might violate instructor expectations and the specific email aspects that bother professors more than students.

The results of the two studies points to a correlation between the use of casual email and text messaging. While generational aspects were evident, they were not significant enough to explain the reason for student decorum in out of class communication and professors’ response and opinions to such violations. The results supported the general consensus of a need for instructional emails from professors, and also identified a negative opinion towards students with casual or improper email. It is hypothesized that second and third order effects of continued violations could follow students to the business world and possibly generate the same affects from future employers and business relationships.

All in all it appears that with the increase of technology, the perceived need for training on proper correspondence rules and techniques has changed. With the rush of everyday life and immediate electronic conversations via texting, it appears that young students are creating habits that might echo beyond school. Effective communication is a vital skill in the business world. If students do not learn proper etiquette, it is quite likely they will expose themselves to embarrassment and criticisms in a business environment were perception is reality. Their communication with professors is a good place to start!

Stephens, K.K., Houser, M.L., & Cowan, R.L. (2009). R U Able to Meat Me: The Impact of Students’ Overly Casual Email Messages to Instructors. Communication Education58(3), 303-326.

Are Teens Hiding Behind The Screen?

By Guest Author Jonathan Nielsen

picture of doll sitting in empty stadium“R U 4 real?” The use of phrases like this demonstrate how technology has managed to merge itself with the social life of teenagers in the form of instant messaging, text messaging and social networking sites such as Facebook. A little observation will tell anyone that a large percentage of a teen’s time is spent texting on his or her phone or chatting online. With so much time devoted to these activities, researchers want to know if there are any side effects.

Pierce set out to examine the effects that teen usage of these technologies might have on their social life. She conducted a study that sought to determine if there was a relationship between recent social technologies and shyness among teenagers. In the study, 280 teenagers answered survey questions regarding how much time they spend on socially interactive technologies such as text messaging, instant messaging, and social networking sites. In addition to finding out how much time teenagers spent on these technologies, the survey also asked questions regarding each teen’s feelings toward face-to-face communication.

The results revealed a clear connection between social introversion and the socially interactive technologies. Those who disliked personal communication were more likely to use socially interactive technologies. This suggests that these new technologies are providing shy individuals with a comfortable means of communication, while replacing any opportunities that these individuals may have had to get over their timidity by practicing face-to-face communication. Lastly, the author concludes that since these technologies are relatively new, society has yet to discover all of the possible consequences.

With the results of this study in mind, it is crucial for teens to evaluate their personal use of these technologies. Do they substitute personal time with friends for time on Facebook? Do they text their friends more than they call them? Are they using these technologies as a way to avoid their social anxieties? As foreign as these problems may be to parents and teachers, the answers to these questions are important to a teen’s future success in life. Face-to-face communication is vital in the workplace, and many teenagers may not be properly developing the necessary interpersonal skills; therefore, these questions must not be avoided. All of this is to say that teenagers must come to realize that they are an experimental generation– No other generation has grown up using these social technologies, and the consequences of these technologies are poorly known.

Pierce, T. (2009). Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communication versus technological communication among teens. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 1367-1372.

Recent Presentations

<div style=”width:425px” id=”__ss_5316765″><strong style=”display:block;margin:12px 0 4px”><a href=”” title=”SEO presentation 2010 share”>SEO presentation 2010 share</a></strong><object id=”__sse5316765″ width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”″ /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”/><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”/><embed name=”__sse5316765″ src=”″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object><div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”>View more <a href=””>presentations</a> from <a href=”″>Michael Rabby</a>.</div></div>

I recently gave two presentations for the DTC program, housed in the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University-Vancouver. It was part of their Technology 101 series, the details of which can be found here:

Below is the slideshow for the presentation I made this afternoon at Washington State University-Vancouver. It covered search engine optimization (SEO) for the beginner.

I also gave a talk entitled Social Media 101, which covered the basics of social media.

More Evidence that Online Communication Leads to Feelings of Closeness to Others

By Guest Author Hannah A.

Once again, one of the primal questions of how people relate on the Internet–is the presence of Internet communication helping or harming their relationships? In this case, we look at teenagers and pre-teenagers.

794 Dutch adolescents, between the ages of 10-16, were given a series of questionnaires within their school classrooms.  The research conducted by Valkenburg and Peter focused upon three main points:

  • How Internet communication affects closeness to friends
  • How the users perceive the breadth and depth of the communication
  • How loneliness and social anxiety could alter the results

Teenagers use Internet to help relationships by Frerieke; Internet relationships; teenagers Their research leaned toward the hypothesis that most adolescents use the Internet to become closer with the friends that they already have, as opposed to using it to talk to strangers.  They found that, in addition, adolescents feel closer to their friends when they talk to them on the Internet, showing that this communication only helps strengthen the relationships in all age groups that were tested.

In regards to how much breadth and depth can be reached through online communication, 30% of the sampled group thought that online communication can be more effective for self disclosure and sharing private information than offline discussions.

Lastly, this study supported the rich-get-richer hypothesis, in that it showed most adolescents who pursue online communication are generally not lonely or socially anxious. Rather, doing so enhances existing relationships or promotes new ones.

The evidence here suggests that the Internet is not having a negative effect on the lives or development of adolescents in this generation, at least in terms feelings of connectedness to others.  For parents, this means not worrying if that if your child talks with their friends online, this can indicate anti-social behavior.  They are disconnected from the real world, but rather are enhancing their relationships.  For adolescents, this study indicates that reliance should not be solely on the internet, but on the symbiosis that can be achieved with existing friendships and those online.

Valkenburg. P.M., & Peter, J. (2007). Preadolescents’ and Adolescents’ Online Communication and Their Closeness to Friends. Developmental Psychology, 43, , 267-277.